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Trump signs bill to keep families together, ensure integrity of immigration laws
By Jeaneane Payne

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today joined 25 of his colleagues to introduce the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act, which would keep families together while ensuring the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws. The legislation requires that children and their parents remain together during legal proceedings.

“While the issues surrounding our immigration system are complex, we can all agree that innocent children should be protected, and I am hopeful the administration will take executive action to halt the separation of families on our southern border,” said Corker. “Congress also must act and provide a longer term solution to the many challenges facing our nation’s immigration system. The Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act is an important step in the right direction.”

President Trump signed the bill today which is effective immediately, although he continued to place the blame of the border situation on Democrats. He also praised himself for making such a noble move.

The Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act includes provisions to ensure the humane and fair treatment of migrant children and families by setting mandatory standards of care for family residential centers. Families will be ensured access to suitable living accommodations, food and water, medical assistance, and any other service necessary for their care.

In addition to keeping children and their parents together, the legislation also keeps children safe by requiring children to be removed from an individual who presents a clear and present danger to the health and safety of the child, including: situations in which DHS cannot verify an individual is the parent of the child; a parent with a violent history of committing aggravated felonies; a child who is a victim of sexual or domestic abuse; a child who is a victim of trafficking.

“It is cruel to separate families. But it is also cruel and irresponsible to return to a policy that encourages parents to bring their children on a dangerous journey,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “This bill will allow us to change the law so that families will remain together while awaiting prioritized proceedings. We should pass it immediately and reunite families.”

“Three things are true,” said Senator Ben Sasse. “First, default family separation is cruel - kids belong with their moms and dads whenever possible. Second, our immigration policy is broken – dumb policies are magnets for human traffickers and the unsecure border is a national security risk. Third, Americans don’t use children as political hostages - anyone trying to use this humanitarian crisis for politics should be ashamed. I’ve called on the President to end this new, discretionary policy and I’m committed to working with my colleagues on legislative solutions as well. The Administration can change course today and Congress can pass this legislation today - let’s get this done.”

  keep families together
Governor Bredesen at the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville hosting a bipartisan brown bag roundtable on health care.

Today, Governor Phil Bredesen met with a group of Knoxville women at the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital for one of many brown bag roundtables he’s been hosting around the state. While he was there to discuss healthcare, it was hard not to address the elephant in the room as he sat in a pediatric hospital.

Governor Phil Bredesen said:

“Children have been forcibly removed from their parents at the border by the thousands and kept in camps with chain link fences around them. I never thought something like this would happen in our country. It effectively amounts to child abuse.

To be honest, it’s had me completely distracted the past few days. This issue completely transcends partisan politics. I can’t imagine, whether you’re liberal or conservative, that you can possibly condone what’s been going on. Many of the women I met were health care professionals, but more importantly, they were moms, so this issue was deeply personal for them. We also discussed a variety of health care issues facing Tennesseans everyday, like affordability, rising deductibles & health literacy.

It is heartening to know that the chorus of voices--from clergy to parents to doctors--uniting against the policy of separating little children from their parents is putting an end to this horrible practice.

Watching what’s going on in Washington is partisanship at its worst. Everybody is spending their time covering their own rear ends by passing blame. There's still tremendous damage to unwind on the ground to reunite children with their parents to start the healing process.”

Published June 20, 2018

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